The UK's salons and mobile beauty businesses are set to boost the jobs market and the economy with an estimated 37,000 new jobs this year alone, according to Sally Salon Services.
The company's fifth Beautiful Britain report found that 98% of salons and mobile beauty workers plan to take on new staff in 2016, with just the remaining 2% expecting to reduce their workforce. And, with nearly half (43%) of businesses planning to hire at least one apprentice this year, the UK hair and beauty industry will add 23,165 apprentice positions and 13,951 jobs to the UK economy.
These figures come as 76% of UK salons say 2015 was a good year for business and 90% report high levels of optimism for the year ahead, with optimism highest in Scotland, Wales and the West Midlands.
This is boosted by the fact that customers are indulging in treatments more frequently than previous years, with two-thirds of professionals seeing an increase in the amount people are willing to spend, resulting in more frequent visits.
Michael Dewey, managing director of Sally Salon Services in the UK and Ireland, said: "As an industry, we're known for our role in nurturing young young talent and creating apprenticeship opportunities across the UK, with our 2016 Beautiful Britain report finding that 43% of professionals join the industry between the ages of 16 and 20.
"With over 37,000 job opportunities set to be created in 2016, and with three-quarters of professionals seeing hair and beauty as their career for life, it’s a great time for young people to be joining the industry."
The price is right
Following the significant drop in treatment prices since 2012, prices haven’t recovered, with the average cost of a man’s haircut now £11, its lowest in five years. Women’s hair removal treatments are also at their lowest price of £16 – a massive £17 cheaper than they were in 2012.
With over half (54%) of professionals finding loyalty difficult to embed in their business, keeping prices down is starting to pay off for smart salon owners, with customers tempted to treat themselves more often. Women are now leaving just five weeks between topping up their tans, compared to seven weeks in 2015, and men are having tans every five weeks.
This has given salons across the UK a major boost, with annual spend for women on an average annual basket of treatments now £876 – up £174 (19%) from last year. And male spending has followed suit, with men spending 23% more than they were in 2015.
Mr Dewey added: "Whilst treatement prices haven't ever returned to the heights of 2012, when we released our first Beautiful Britain report, professionals are starting to reap the rewards of keeping their prices competitive, with customers visiting more frequently than ever."
British men have continued to boost the £1 billion UK male grooming industry and now make up a fifth of all customers, with 97% of businesses reporting that male customer levels have either increased or stayed the same over the past 12 months.
With image-conscious men now treating themselves more often than ever, everyday treatments like shaving are up by 59%. And men in the North East are now indulging in hair removal treatments every four weeks compared to every eight in 2015 – amounting to seven extra treatments a year.
David Beckham has retained his crown as the UK’s top male style icon for an impressive fifth year in a row, with his look most coveted by men in the East Midlands. The release of the latest James Bond film ‘Spectre’ has helped to land Daniel Craig third place in the style stakes this year, with Mark Wright taking second place.